I am helpless in preventing auction of Bapu’s blood: Tushar Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson Tushar Gandhi joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on Mahatma Gandhi’s blood being auctioned in London.
Q. You can access both political and diplomatic power as being a political leader. Did you try to stop this auction? honestly if my father’s or grandfather’s blood would have been auctioned like this, I would have even gone to the international court.

A. My Blood boils as much on both counts, one that my ancestor is made into a commodity and that I am helpless in being able to prevent such acts from happening nor do I have the wherewithal to be able to participate in the auction and secure my ancestral heritage by my own efforts. Unfortunately, I have no recourse to political or diplomatic power.
Q. What is that we are going to get if we are going to auction and what would be the return and how will that be utilized? Asked by: Sanjay
A. People have seen how much such memorabilia are in demand and how much money can be made from their sale and so these kinds of auctions will keep happening more often and over and over again.
Q. It is sickening to know that such a thing is happening. Don’t you feel that we should take it up strongly as would the Britishers like a situation of the Queen/ King of England’s blood being auctioned? Asked by: AKS
A. I am sure that if anything belonging to the British throne or American leadership was ever put on sale Britain and the US would ensure that they secured it for their Nation.
Q. To be honest, there is a ‘perverse’ element to it. Why did the family members not try to stop them? Asked by: Pallabi Saha
A. Believe if I could have stopped the auction I would have using all and every ability unfortunately unless there was an act of Parliament there is nothing we can do as a family. I can lay claim to Bapu’s DNA but when a unit of his blood is auctioned I have to watch helplessly.
Q. It certainly maybe bizarre but isn’t it flattering to know that even a drop of your own (great grandfather’s blood) blood is sought after by people of the world as a gesture of love for him? Asked by: Arun Asokan
A. Today when Bapu’s blood is auctioned I will know the price of my DNA, strangely it makes me feel cheap.
Q. Isn’t it bizarre and vulgar? Asked by: Rohit
A. It is. Unfortunately it is reality.
Q. What should the Indian govt do? Asked by: yamini
A. Wake up.
Q. 21st century ideology is: Tum Mujhe Khoon do…. I will auction it! Asked by: pc aka @jpchat9
A. It is ‘Mera pyaar, meri Bhakti, meri ibadat sab bikau hai.’ Sad truth.
Q. Sir, I am no one. no one knows me. but still i would created a chaos in the media as well as i would have requested the media to this issue and ask the MEA to interfere. at least people knows you. if not political or diplomatic recourse, at least media and human rights commission. Asked by: pc
A. Once before when an auction of his personal belongings took place in New York I had carried out a very loud and sustained campaign in the media to prevent the auction all I managed to do was focus world attention on the auction and in the process I pushed up the value of the artifacts and helped the seller and the auction house make more money and so since then I have not created a media hype. Then I had also appealed to the PMO and the Government to intervene, they made shamefully lame gestures. I was happy when Vijay Mallaya bought the things in the auction and declared that he would present them to the people of India but he too did not make his promise come true and I believe that the artifacts of Bapu that Mallaya bought he has kept in his home in Montecarlo.
Q. Who has in the first place given his blood and other belongings for auction? Asked by: leena
A. The descendants of Smt Sumati Morarji. They are the family who owned the Great Eastern Shipping Company.
Q. How much is media hype to do with it as when Diana’s or Maryln Monroes clothes are auctioned it gets unwanted attention from general public thus raising interest in such type of things and subscriptions go up so what is the role of media in all of this. Asked by: Hitesh
A. I think the Media’s role is one of creating awareness and public opinion and to run genuine initiatives.
Q. Can it be challenged in the court to stop it? Asked by: yamini
A. Unless there was a law enacted by an act of parliament decalring all such artifacts as national treasures nothing can be done since these reputed auction houses ascertain the legality of ownership very meticulously.
Q. Do you feel that auctioning of physical parts be banned by all countries as it leads to immoral practice Asked by: Shailesh
A. I feel that in today’s times it also raises many more questions what if a cloning laboratory were to get its hands on Bapu’s DNA and attempt to clone the Mahatma? The time has come when a serious action needs to be taken to protect our historical heritage be it the Kohinoor, Shivaji Maharaj’s Sword, the Peacock Throne or Bapu’s DNA.
Q. Do you feel that these items when brought at auction by wealthy industrialists like Mallya are not used for public purpose but as symbol of vulgar display of show off that have such type of immaterial things at their disposal Asked by: Shailesh
A. Mallaya bought it to use it as a bargaining chip with the Government and to show off and brag to his society pals. I don’t think he has any reverence towards them.
Q. Should this type of thing could have been stopped by Indian consulate in London and could have been retrieved for bringing it to Indian museum Asked by: Manav
A. India should have used all powers in its grasp to ensure that its reputation was not besmirched internationally.
Q. Are these practices demeaning world’s civilisation and meaning that everything is material and meant for monetary exchange. Asked by: Ravi
A. Yes we have reched a stage in our civilisation where the price tag is supreme. Everything is a comodity and everything is on sale. Nothing is sacred.
Q. Do you feel that people are genuinely interested in great man’s items as his values and principle’s are not implemented in today’s age. Asked by: Ravi
A. This craze to forget his philosophy and methods and instead collect his belongings is escapism at its worst.
Q. I feel this can be taken to courts. Auction of Bapu’s blood is similar to auction any other persons body parts which is highly illegal.Something has to be done to put a stop in auctioning of human parts. Asked by: Chandra
A. Not until there is a law passed t prevent such transactions.
Q. It is of great interest that how such things get into the hands of western institutions as Indians should be more involved with it and also because western countries would always play with such type of items rather than idolizing them. Asked by: Arvind
A. For years I have been requesting the Government to attempt to create an inventory of such possessions of great people both with museums and in Public hands but the Government just drags its feet. In the mean time more and more such national heritage passes into private hands.
Q. Sir, If Mahatma was alive he would have given his blood for auction if that would have resulted in some charity. I do not see it wrong. I am sure somebody buying with treat with atmost respect. Asked by: Vijay
A. If it was being done to raise funds for a charity I would have hailed it to but I am sure the only charity this auction will be towards increasing the personal wealth of the seller.